Important online privacy protection act presented in Congress


House and Senate committee leaders unveiled a proposal dubbed the “American Privacy Rights Act” on Sunday, which aims to grant consumers extensive authority to manage how tech companies and data brokers use their personal data.

According to the proposal, the bill would require covered entities to be transparent about how they use consumer data and give consumers the right to access, correct, delete, and export their data.

The bill would also prohibit the transfer of sensitive data to third parties without the “consumer’s affirmative express consent” and give users the right to opt out of targeted advertising. Companies would only be able to collect the data that’s needed to offer specific products and services.

“This landmark legislation gives Americans the right to control where their information goes and who can sell it. It reins in Big Tech by prohibiting them from tracking, predicting, and manipulating people’s behaviors for profit without their knowledge and consent. Americans overwhelmingly want these rights,” said Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell in a press release.

For decades, Congress has sought to establish a comprehensive federal law safeguarding user data. However, lawmakers disagreed on two main issues: whether the federal law should take precedence over related state laws and whether users should be able to sue companies that misuse their data.

In 2018, Europe implemented a similar security regulation called the General Data Protection Regulation. This has also affected many companies in the US, which has lagged behind somewhat in terms of regulation.


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